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The Sales Review

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Your Best Learners Are Your Top Sales Pros: 3 Success Stories

Posted by Jamie Shanks on Jun 2, 2016 11:30:41 AM


Sales Top PerformersSales leaders: you already know how important learning is. But did you know that learning can also provide early-warning signs for recruiting and onboarding great talent, and figuring out which sales pros are most likely to succeed in your organization? Learning correlates to future sales success. Here are three stories from our clients that show you why.

Story 1: Commitment to learning equals revenue generation

An IT company with 3,000 sales professionals on staff invested in our social selling training program. However, they wanted to measure the difference between sales professionals who completed the program and became certified, versus those who only completed 50% of the training. They wanted to see from a behavioral standpoint who felt that learning wasn’t a priority (i.e., who gave up), in contrast to those who finished what they started.

After one year, the sales pros that completed the social selling training program outperformed their colleagues who only did 50% of the course by 55% of revenue generation!

Story 2: Learning engagement and behaviour are your earliest indicators of success

One of our clients is a mid-market software service company that trained 60 of their sales professionals. We created a learning behavioral index score for them, which included all the data from their learning, such as:

  • classroom attendance,

  • participation, and

  • how they accessed content on the learning portal.

In short, we measured all the signs of interest and engagement and measured that against LinkedIn SSI scores.

Over the course of six months, the company as a whole doubled their LinkedIn SSI scores from an average of 35 to an average of 70! The students who scored greater than 70% on their LinkedIn SSI scores were also those that generated all the revenue in the company. All the students who had above average SSI scores also had the highest class participation and engagement in the organization.

And this company ended up generating over $13 million in revenue during that time.

We also ran the same exercise with another client who is the largest semi-conductor and ship manufacturer in the world. After completing only 50% of our social selling training program, they’ve already discovered that they’ve created millions of dollars in pipeline!

But ONLY the students who are actually caught up and have finished all of their learning and assignments are the ones that have created millions of dollars in pipeline. Why? These sales pros demonstrated their eagerness to translate learning behavior into sales actions.

Story 3: Never stop learning

The same semi-conductor organization also ran a test over the course of 2015. For their annual performance reviews, they wanted their sales reps (our students) to complete a certain number of courses of new training material. They needed to do these courses to sustain their jobs.

Those that went above and beyond and did two extra courses (or engaged in 2-3 times more learning) actually doubled their sales performance reviews. In other words, their sales performance reviews were twice as good as the others. The data used for the review was made up of sales quota attainment, revenue generated for the business, and more—basically an amalgamation of all the financial data the sales pro has done over the year and given to the manager.

Bottom line: students who are always learning are the ones who are going to outperform.

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Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks

About the Author

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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